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Positionality Memo
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community-based research

How to Cite

Rojo, Florencia. 2023. “Positionality Memo”. TRAILS: Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology, September. Washington DC: American Sociological Association.


This assignment aims at developing students’ analytic perspectives about how identities and social location within systems of power shape community-engaged research. Students are typically practiced at identifying and acknowledging their various identities relating to race, class, gender, sexuality, and other forms of difference. Many students also...

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Subject Area(s):
Community, Ethnography, Other, Qualitative Methodology, Research Methods
Resource Type(s):
Class Level(s):
College 200, College 300, College 400
Class Size(s):

Usage Notes

See Usage Notes in the assignment document

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Learning Goals and Assessments

Learning Goal(s):

  1. 1. Analyze the relationship between the social position of the researcher or author and their community-based work:
    • Students will critically evaluate how their social position influences the type of community-based work they engage in.
    • Students will examine the implications of the researcher's social position on their relationship with the...
  2. 2. Reflect on personal positionality and its relevance to project work:
    • Students will reflect on their own identities and social positions in relation to their project work.
    • Students will demonstrate an understanding of why their positionality matters in the context of their work and its potential impact.
  3. 3. Apply course materials to analyze the significance of positionality:
    • Students will utilize readings and course materials related to positionality to support their analysis.
    • Students will draw upon relevant theories and concepts from the positionality unit or other units to enhance their understanding.
    • Students will critically apply...

Goal Assessment(s):

  1. 1. Students are expected to demonstrate an understanding of theoretical concepts presented in course readings.
  2. 2. Students are evaluated on their analysis of the implications and considerations of their identities and social positions for their research or project.
  3. 3. Students are expected to articulate a feasible plan for accounting for their positionality in the field and/or project work.

When using resources from TRAILS, please include a clear and legible citation.

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